Elasticsearch and Solr work well out-of-the-box for document search, but delivering a fully-featured, user-friendly search with them requires a lot of additional investment.
Out-of-the-box, Algolia provides prefix matching for as-you-type search, typo-tolerance with intelligent result highlighting, and a flexible, powerful ranking formula. The ranking formula makes it easy to combine textual relevance with business data like prices and popularity metrics. With Lucene-based search tools like Solr and Elasticsearch, the ranking formula must be designed and built from scratch, which can be very difficult for teams without deep search experience to get right.
Algolia’s highly-optimized infrastructure is distributed across the world in 15 regions and 47 datacenters. Algolia provides a 99.99% reliability guarantee and can deliver a fast search to users wherever in the world they’re connecting from. Elasticsearch and Solr do not automatically distribute to multiple regions, and doing so can incur significant server costs and devops resources.
For a deeper comparison, check out the Comparing Algolia and Elasticsearch for Consumer-Grade Search blog post series. Part 1 focuses on speed and Part 2 looks at relevance. You may also find this Quora question useful.
We’d be happy to provide guidance for your specific use case. Send us an email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up a call!
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